An online survey has been carried out by Progetto Gionata
, the Italian LGBT Christian network, to choose the Bible passage that will headline the vigils, services and candlelight walks taking place on the International Day Against Homophobia on 17 May 2019.
More than 200 people voted online, and this year the theme for the Vigils of Hope comes from Isaiah 43:1-4: “Have no fear, for I have taken up your cause; naming you by your name, I have made you mine. Because of your value in my eyes, you have been honoured, and loved by me“.
We are often invited in the Bible to have no fear, as fear often burdens our life and faith journey. However, God called us by our name, we belong to Him, to Him we all have value in his eyes. He calls us by our name and He loves us like a father loves his child, and reminds us we are all brothers and sisters on our journey, regardless of our skin colour, our language and our sexuality.
He tell us He loves us. Will we be able to say it as well, and tell our sisters and brothers around us that we love them? The vigils against homophobia and transphobia have been taking place regularly since 2007, when for the first time some LGBT Christians in Florence decided to come together and pray for Matteo, a teenager who committed suicide after being bullied by his schoolmates.
Since then, in cities across Italy and around the world many Christians from different backgrounds gather every year to pray, to remember all victims, and to imagine a world where discrimination has ended.